What if you could make a difference in the planet’s well-being -- a real, discernible difference -- by investing your dollars wisely? For those who want to leave a positive mark on humanity, it’s high time to learn more about impact investing, a form of investing that aims to generate social or environmental change, alongside financial gain.

More and more investors on both an individual and institutional level are choosing to make a profit and a quantifiable social difference, whether it’s through investing in programs that seek to end homelessness, combat climate change, or provide basic services like healthcare, housing, and education.

Read on to find out more about how this innovative approach to investing is making a serious difference in the world.

What is an impact investment?

Simply put, impact investments are investments made into organizations, companies, and funds that seek to have a measurable, positive social impact.

Why should I consider impact investing?

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It’s pretty simple: change the culture of investing, and in return change the world. Investors have the power to alter the course of humanity for the better, by funneling money into the things that matter. Best of all? Aligning your investments with your values doesn’t mean you won’t make a profit. You can achieve market-rate returns and make a difference at a grassroots level -- these aren’t mutually exclusive concepts.

Impact Investors are fusing together financial success with social impact. If investors continue to chose to put their money into mission, social and program-related investments then we can change the trajectory of our economy.

What are some examples of impact investing?

Every day, more and more individual investors, fund managers, private foundations, NGOs, and financial institutions are making the choice to invest in a healthier future for our planet. For example, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Mission Drive Investment recently made a $5 million bridging loan to Wireless Generation, enabling teachers across the country to buy updated mobile technology for their classrooms.

In 2013, General Electric provided a $1 million loan to Burn Manufacturing, which makes sustainable burning stoves for African communities.

And the Calvert Foundation’s Women Investing in Women Initiative allows individual investors to provide loans for women in developing countries.

These are just a few examples among many.

What are the returns of impact investing?

If you’re passionate about ending poverty, increasing access to education and healthcare, achieving gender equality, and protecting our Earth’s ever-fragile environment, impact investing is the way forward.

Though these goals may sound lofty and even abstract, the truth is that each of us has the capacity to end social injustice, by investing in our local communities and the programs we care about.

No act of investment is too small when it comes to the future of our planet.

How do I become an Impact Investor?

There are many variations of impact investing, talk to your accountant or financial advisor about the causes you care about and what options you have for impact investments.


Justine Harrington is a freelance columnist and essayist, a travel journalist, and a copywriter for lifestyle and business brands based in Austin by way of Oklahoma.

Hyper link: http://www.justineharrington.com/

At Impact Hub, we believe in the power of humanity and our collective ability to enact positive change in the world! Find out more about our mission, partnerships, and programming here.